His name shouldn’t be too unfamiliar to the avid follower as he’s appeared twice on Ben Trovato already as Melissa Rodwell‘s assistant on her two fabulous stories for us, Wet & The Falling. Today Tyler Mitchell is stepping into the spotlight for real, with a story that marks the beginning of a fruitful relationship between Ben Trovato and Brooklyn based fashion and lifestyle publication Relapse Magazine.
Together with Editor In Chief Ian Frisch, Tyler gathered an amazing team at the Relapse studio earlier this spring in order to create a story he’s been eager to realize for a long time. “Tyler had been talking about the concept for this photoshoot for months before it actually took flight,” Ian tells us, adding: “- And once Ise, whose past work and credentials are nothing short of stunning, showed interest in working with us on something, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for them to work as a team and come up with something that not only fuses their personal styles, but also emulates what Relapse is all about as a publication. Tyler has been a very big influence in the progression of Relapse, and I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome of our first (hopefully of many!) collaboration with Ben Trovato.”
“I was originally planning to do an all white story, with different little walls and things to create dimension in something that was otherwise very tonal,” Tyler says of his story. “When I started talking to Ise we decided to do light versus dark, and in that we are playing with that concept of good vs evil, right vs wrong, but without being really obvious about it. We basically put each of the girls in this world of flat surfaces and let the colors and styling take care of the mood, where the light girl is more etherial and the dark girl feels a little less innocent.”
Stylist Ise White says she just started to work with young photographers again, and was excited to collaborate with Tyler: “- I have to say Tyler is one of the best. His lighting is perfect. You know when you meet someone who has “it”, Tyler has all the qualities that tell me we will see great things from him in the future.”
“This was my first time working with Ise, and since I met her I wanted to work with her. She is amazing beyond words, and is not only fantastic to work with and absolutely amazing at what she does, but she’s one of the chillest, nicest people to be around both on and off set, which is exactly what I want in anyone I work with,” Tyler responds to Ise’s praise, before mentioning hair stylist Tomo Tamura and makeup artist Yusuke Okitia who he was also excited to work with. “I had used Tomo for hair before and loved the control that he has, so I was definitely excited when he was open. He brought in make up artist Yusuke Okitia, who was also a pleasure to work with.”
And what about the models? “Both girls were awesome! I wasn’t sure at the beginning if it was going to be one girl who was playing both sides or if I’d get two. I found Tesa at McSquared first and then met Kelsey a few days before the shoot, and she had a great energy and look so we went for it and got them both.”
Tyler has been working his way up in fashion photography for a few years now, and mentions the captivating work by Avedon, Penn and Meisel as having inspired him to pursue his own art. “As I gained more and more respect for them and started to go down that road myself, I realized there wasn’t anything else that I would be happy doing!” he tells us.
His combination of passion, skills and persistence has brought him far, and a debut on Ben Trovato is surely only a stepping stone towards something much greater for the New York based artist. At the same time Relapse Magazine, where he’s the Creative Director, serves as a fantastic outlet for him and other artists alike.
Read up on Relapse here.
Photography by Tyler Mitchell
Styling by Ise White
Hair by Tomo Tamura
Makeup by Yusuke Okitia
Models - Kelsey Close @ IMG, Tesa @ MC2